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PHOTOS: Palestinians protest settler marathon in West Bank

Israeli ‘Biblical Marathon’ shuts down main West Bank road connecting Ramallah and Nablus, ‘is part of an apartheid policy,’ says Abdullah Abu Rahmeh.

Israeli soldiers stop Palestinian protesters from reaching the site of the ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers stop Palestinian protesters from reaching the site of the ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Several dozen Palestinians demonstrated against the closure of the West Bank’s main traffic artery due to an Israeli “biblical” marathon on Thursday. Road 60, which connects the major Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Nablus, was closed to traffic from 5:30 a.m. until shortly before noon.

Marathons are generally held on Sundays, and on Fridays in Israel, in order to minimize the interruption to commutes and commerce on the roads. While Thursday is a half-day for most Israelis because it is the eve of a holiday, it is a regular work day for Palestinians.

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Israeli soldiers prevented the Palestinian activists from approaching the marathon itself and they protested near the village of Turmus Aya. The “Biblical Marathon’s” organizers, which includes a number of government bodies, billed it as an historic recreation of the first-ever marathon in the world.

Israeli security forces stop Palestinian protesters from reaching the site of the ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli security forces stop Palestinian protesters from reaching the site of the ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“Everything the army and the settlers do in the occupied territories is part of an apartheid policy, and we cannot accept the fact that they are shutting down a major road,” said Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, one of the protest organizers, adding that the demonstration was held under the banner of freedom of movement.

Two weeks ago the third-annual Palestine Marathon took place in Bethlehem. Runners in the Palestine Marathon were forced to essentially run laps on a track made of city streets because organizers were unable to find an uninterrupted 42-kilometer (26 mile) mile stretch of road under Palestinian control.

Israeli security forces stop Palestinian protesters from reaching the site of the ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli security forces stop Palestinian protesters from reaching the site of the ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians protestthe ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians protestthe ‘Biblical Marathon,’ West Bank, April 9, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

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    1. Pedro X

      Just as Palestinians had the right to close down streets in Bethlehem for its marathon, Israel had the right to close down route 60 to both Jews and Arabs for a marathon. Jews or Arabs who wanted to get around had to get up early or take alternate roads.

      In Boston, the Boston marathon is held on a weekday. Roads are blocked off. Everyone deals with it.

      BTW Protestor Abdullah Abu Rahmeh served 16 months in jail for convictions of incitement and weapons possession.

      Reply to Comment
      • John

        Pedro O. what color is the sky in your echo chamber? Your reading comprehension is the result of brainwashing, brainwashing has the same effect as washing woolens in hot water.
        In reality the world realizes a convection in Israel’s apartheid kangaroo courts is as bogus as convection of blacks in Mississippi a hundred years ago.

        Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        In Boston, the Boston marathon is held on land that isn’t occupied.

        BTW, Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison on various trumped up charges as well.

        Reply to Comment
      • Truth Teller

        Pedro:following your logic, american army could block vancouver streets and roads, to allow an american-only marathon to take place in vancouver streets.

        Reply to Comment